Concealed carrying in winter is easier than in warm weather because we wear more layers, and cover garments, such as sweaters, hoodies or jackets, do not look suspicious. Even though we wear less in the summer, fortunately, summer styles and fabrics are looser. Covering a pistol or a revolver does not have to be complicated with clothing styles that are more casual. Untucked Hawaiian or polo-style shirts and shorts for men and long maxi dresses for women are commonplace during the hotter months. Here are five tips for carrying a gun during the dog days of summer.
Get a Smaller Gun
Many of you will not change the way you carry during the summer. There is nothing wrong with that. However, I do know people whose wardrobe drastically changes during the summer. It may not be as easy to conceal a full-sized 1911 in T-shirts and shorts. Fortunately, there are plenty of smaller and flatter guns in .380 ACP or 9mm that are easy to conceal in a pocket, bra, or ankle, bellyband and inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters. I can comfortably carry any of these pistols using any of my preferred carry methods—bra, or thigh and small of the back:
- Ruger “Elsies” LC9, LCP, and LCR
- GLOCK 42 and 43
- SIG Sauer P938 and P238
- Beretta Nano
- Kel-Tec P3AT
- Taurus 709 Slim
- Kahr P380
- Taurus Model 85
- S&W Bodyguard
When I choose IWB, I swear by lightweight, cotton three-quarter-sleeve cardigans at the office for a cover garment. I know guys who prefer to wear T-shirts with unbuttoned shirts over them as cover garments.
If you opt for a smaller gun, you will need an appropriate-sized holster. Look for a soft suede or nylon inside-the-waistband holster or an IWB tuckable. Those holsters clip around a belt or waistband so the gun rides inside your pants or shorts. A gun in an IWB holster is easier to keep concealed. The Bianchi Model 100T, Galco Tuck-N-Go and DeSantis Sof-Tuck are all favorites. Wear an undershirt when carrying IWB so your gun stays dry if you sweat. Buy button downs, T-shirts and polos one size larger to keep from accidentally showing or printing your gun.
Cargo shorts with deep pockets are perfect for summer pocket carry. Any of the afore-mentioned small firearms will fit well in typical men’s baggier pants or shorts pockets. If you choose to pocket carry, buy an appropriate pocket-carry holster for safety and quick access.
Ankle or Thigh Carry
We women know how comfortable skirts and sundresses are. They are lightweight, cute and breezy. You can still wear your dresses—long or short—and carry successfully. Maxi, or full-length dresses and skirts allow you to hide a small pistol in an ankle holster. For shorter dresses, a thigh holster works. Some loose, V-neck or strapless empire-waist dresses are perfect for bra carry without sacrificing accessibility.
Belt Clip Holsters
Belt clip holsters, such as Kel-Tec’s belt clip, the Rail Ryder or Versacarry, eliminate the need for a holster. Since the belt clip works like those on pocketknives, no one knows when you wear the holster inside your waistband. It is a minimalist way to carry. If you are accustomed to drawing from a holster, the belt clip requires practice. However, you should practice with your carry gun and method of carry regularly any way—especially when you switch guns or carry method.
If your state allows you to open carry, that is always an option.
How do you carry in the summer? Share it with others in the comments section.